Floyd Reese was the franchise’s general manager for 13 years and has plenty of history that provides ample material from which to form an opinion on his philosophy.
After observing Mike Reinfeldt’s first two drafts as the Titans G.M., we can also begin to formulate an opinion on his methodology.
Generally, Reese was someone who made selections on his own. While he welcomed input from the scouts and coaching staff, his own opinion heavily outweighed theirs. In contrast, Reinfeldt places more value on their opinions, as demonstrated by the selection of Jason Jones.
The Titans drafted 120 players during Reese’s tenure as G.M. and almost all of them were chosen by him. Two notable exceptions, Steve McNair and Vince Young, weren’t Reese picks at all. Those two selections were made by owner Bud Adams.
Reese can take credit for identifying talented guys who could really play, such as Eddie George, Jevon Kearse, Keith Bulluck and Albert Haynesworth.
On the other hand, his tendency to take chances on guys with good measurables resulted in the likes of Ben Troupe, Andre Woolfolk and Tyrone Calico – guys who didn’t play that well.
Reese enjoyed the luxury of being able to draft the best player available (e.g. Keith Bulluck) in the first part of his run as GM until salary cap constraints forced him into the mode of selecting according to need. For example, when the Titans couldn’t afford to keep Samari Rolle and Kevin Carter, he drafted Adam Jones and Randy Starks.
In my opinion, Reinfeldt has used the best player available approach (e.g. first-round picks Michael Griffin and Chris Johnson) although it could be argued that the Titans had a need for a cornerback, which the Titans tried with Griffin, and a need for a playmaker on offense, which they got in Johnson. If you haven’t done so yet, check out Drexel’s recent article on B.P.A. vs. need.
As any good G.M. would do, Reinfeldt claimed his team got the best player available. No G.M. would ever admit, “We didn’t think that player was the best guy, but we took him anyway.”
The best example of Reinfeldt obviously selecting the best player available was Craig Stevens. Tennessee certainly didn’t need another tight end with Alge Crumpler and Bo Scaife already on the roster but Reinfeldt recognized the value of Stevens.
In his 13 years, Reese certainly had his share of both studs and duds. Reinfeldt has already drafted some impressive young players in Griffin, Johnson and Jones. Some of his other selections appear to be questionable at this point. Time will tell on them, perhaps as early as September. We’ll know more after seeing them in training camp again. If they haven’t improved, it could be time to part ways with them.